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12 months | Nevada Senior Guide

Recovering from Hip Replacement Surgery

August 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Recovering from Hip Replacement Surgery

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One of the most complex joints in the human body is the hip. In order for the thighbone to move smoothly and normally in the socket, the body must have healthy cartilage and adequate joint fluid.

Disruption of this system — disintegrating cartilage, fluid imbalance, fractures, etc. — can cause the joint to swell, bringing severe pain and stiffness that makes daily activities and work almost impossible. Osteoarthritis, overuse of the joint, injury and other medical conditions can cause these problems.

Treatment Options

If physical therapy and medication do not control hip pain or improve mobility, doctors may consider one of two surgical options. One treatment is hip resurfacing, a procedure that caps the ball of the joint with a metal prosthesis and replaces the socket. The other treatment option is hip replacement, a procedure that replaces the original joint with an artificial one.

Hip Replacement Surgery and Complications

Hip replacement surgery is a very serious procedure that requires a lot of preparation on the patient’s end. In addition, it is important that recovery plans and follow-up treatment are tailored carefully to the needs of the patient to ensure safe and effective healing. Without a proper recovery plan, complications and additional surgeries could follow.

The most common complications from hip replacement surgery are infection and blood clots. To reduce the risk of infection, patients are usually given antibiotics after surgery. To prevent blood clots, health care providers may choose medication and/or physical therapy.

Some patients experience complications with the hip implants themselves. Implants with two or more metal parts, including some made by manufacturers Biomet and DePuy, can lead to metal poisoning and other severe complications. Zimmer manufactures the Durom Cup, which can come loose and cause serious pain. Patients need to contact their surgeon right away if they have any serious complications after hip surgery.

Recovery

After hip replacement surgery, it is important to do mild strengthening exercises, such as contracting and releasing the leg muscles, and short pumps of the ankles. However, patients must limit the movement of their hips. Exercises should be initially performed with a physical therapist, and then at home after proper instruction has been given.

Patients should plan ahead to have family and/or friends assist them at home for at least the first week or two after hip replacement. In addition, patients will not be allowed to drive for up to four weeks and will need to plan transportation to doctor appointments, physical therapy and the grocery store.

After hip replacement, patients should avoid using lotions or oils on the hip area, especially around or near the incision. Keeping the area dry is important in order for the incision area to heal properly. Within one to two months, physical activities and daily routines should start to return to normal, however, these activities should be resumed gradually to avoid falls and other injuries that might damage the hip again.

Slow walks with leverage from a crutch or cane can be helpful during recovery. Patients should avoid steps, hills and slopes. Routine visits to the physician should occur at three, six and 12 weeks, as well as six and 12 months after surgery.

 

Jennifer Mesko is the managing editor of Drugwatch.com. She keeps the public informed about the latest medical news, recalls and FDA warnings.

Quality of Nation’s Nursing Homes Improving under Five-Star Quality Rating System

July 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Quality of Nation’s Nursing Homes Improving under Five-Star Quality Rating System

Three States Lagging, Study Finds

DURHAM, NCThe quality of nursing homes has improved in most states and in the District of Columbia since the 2008 implementation of the Five-Star Quality Rating System by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an Abt Associates’ analysis finds.

The study shows that between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of nursing homes with an overall five-star rating, or much better than average quality, increased in all but three states and the proportion with a one-star rating, or much below average quality, dropped as well. There are more than 15,500 nursing homes in the country, and all of them are rated with between one and five stars.

“Between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of nursing homes with a four- or five-star rating grew in every state except for Hawaii, Montana, and Idaho,” said Alan White, Ph.D., a principal associate at Abt Associates who worked with CMS to develop the rating system. “While we don’t know the extent to which the existence of the rating system itself has led to this improvement, most nursing home operators pay close attention to their ratings and seem to be motivated to improve them. Some use their ratings as part of their marketing efforts, branding their facilities as ‘five-star’ nursing homes.”

White said the Five-Star Quality Rating System was created to help consumers, their families, and caregivers more easily compare nursing homes when visiting CMS’s Nursing Home Compare website.  There they can learn about a facility’s overall performance rating and how it performs in three separate domains—health inspection surveys, staffing, and quality measures. The ratings are updated monthly.

While there has been an 8% increase in four-and five-star facilities in overall performance nationwide between 2009 and 2011, five states stand out as experiencing the greatest change in their proportion of nursing homes with a four- and five-star overall rating. These are Delaware, Tennessee, Georgia, Oregon and Indiana. The percentage of Delaware’s five-star facilities jumped by nearly 23%; Tennessee’s by about 16%; Georgia’s by nearly 15%; and Oregon’s and Indiana’s each by about 14%.

In addition to overall performance, the study provides state ratings in each of the performance domains. Health inspection ratings are drawn from standard and complaint surveys over three years, White said, explaining that nursing homes are inspected every 12 months on average to ensure they are following state and federal regulations.

“The inspection surveys provide a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home, examining such areas as kitchen/food service, medication management, proper skin care, and the safety, functionality, cleanliness and comfort of the environment.” White said.  “If an inspection team finds that a nursing home doesn’t meet a specific standard, it issues a deficiency citation, and the health inspection rating is based on the number and severity of deficiencies cited by surveyors.”

The staffing rating, said White, is based on the number of hours of care on average provided to each resident each day by nursing staff.  “The ratings consider differences in how sick the nursing home residents are in each nursing home, since that makes a difference in how many staff members are needed.”

The quality measures rating is an assessment of nine different physical and clinical measures for nursing home residents that indicates how well nursing homes perform on important dimensions of care related to each resident’s functioning and health status.

While the Five-Star Quality Rating System can help consumers, their families and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily, White cautioned that it cannot address all of the considerations that go into deciding which nursing home is best for a particular individual. “The rating system is an excellent tool but it should be used in combination with other sources of information, including an onsite visit, in making nursing home placement decisions,” he said.

If you would like to interview Dr. Alan White, please contact Sandy Cogan at (301) 347-5913 or (202) 617-0123 or sandy_cogan@abtassoc.com.

About Abt Associates

Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators.  The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries. www.abtassociates.com

CONTACT:

Sandy Cogan

Sandy_Cogan@abtassoc.com

301-347-5913

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

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    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
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